Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Divide and Conquer (the faculty and undergrads, that is)

Richard Kalb, Associate Dean of Students in FAS, issued a memo last week to department chairs telling them why it is important that students receive grades prior to February 1st. These reasons include:

  • Students could lose their eligibility for early registration if the registrar's office does not think they have enough grades
  • The selection committee for Phi Betta Kappa has decided to make student inelligible for membership if they are missing grades
  • Students who are missing two grades could be placed on Academic Probation for lack of progress towards the degree

Of course, all three of these are the direct result of NYU policies aimed at ensuring that undergraduates will blame GSOC for their problems, rather than the administration which has created them. The administration determines what "adequate progress towards the degree" is, it determines how Phi Betta Kappa eligibility works within the institution, and it surely sets the regulations for early registration. But Kalb instead acts as if his own (and the entire administration's) hands are tied.

During the Vietnam War Era, students at NYU and many other institutions went on strikes that resulted in classes not meeting for weeks. The administrations then did not place students on Academic Probation because they did not have grades--they just gave everyone a "pass" and suspended normal academic requirements for a semester or two. The administration could do that again, but it is choosing not to.

And the faculty are buying into this myth-making process and scabbing whenever they submitt grades for our courses instead of challenging the administration's own lack of action.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on. Perhaps nerds, together with the Nerdito/as at NYU Inc. could elaborate a little more sometime on the lessons of NYU's anti-war movement during Vietnam...when you all have a free minute, that is.

1/31/2006 5:43 PM  

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